Letters to the Editor
E-MAILS TO THE EDITOR
The Weather Vane
Reading the article in the Christmas issue about the replacement of the weather vane brought to mind a story my late mother - Phyllis nee Draper - told me.
Phyllis was one of the five children of William and Nellie Draper of No. 94 Berrynarbor [Jacobs Well]. There were four 'maids' and a boy Denzil.
Denzil served in the Royal Engineers during WW2. He and Mum were kindred spirits and according to their sisters Winnie, Margaret and Sheila, a pair of 'ellers'! Apparently when home on leave Denzil brought with him a pistol liberated from a German soldier, I guess it was a Luger. He and Phyllis decided to have some fun with it. They went to the bottom of the garden of 94 where he held a large Colman's mustard tin at arm's length and bade her take a shot. In true Annie Oakley style she did and sent the tin from his hand. However, he had rather a long thumbnail and she managed to trim a bit off! Once the dust and sound had settled, Denzil urged her to have a pop at the big hand on the church clock, which she hit easily.
Now to the point of the story, he then took pistol in hand and hit the weather vane. Mum always said there was a dent in the clock hand and a hole in the weather vane for years. I'm assuming this was the vane taken down 40 odd years ago. I wonder if there really was a hole in it?
Phil Rollings, Bristol
I have today returned home from a lovely week spent in your beautiful village of Berrynarbor. I have walked every nook and cranny and met many of your lovely residents, I have indulged in looking at all the beautiful houses, farms and cottages, and I agree that you really are the Best Kept Village.
BUT, I am so sad about something else I found on my walks and trundles, I am really shocked by how much dog mess is around your streets and path ways. I took my 2 dogs and my 10000 doggie bags and cleaned up after my fur-babies but I was shocked to spy that the offenders were many times your own local residents, letting their dogs run freely to mess up your lovely streets. I am not one to write like this normally, but was really astonished by the level of poop! I realise that of course the perpetrators may be wild animals, which may account for some, but for the majority, the offenders are dogs, and as it's not really the tourist season and not too many holidaymakers around, may I recommend you advise your lovely residents that they are really spoiling your beautiful village!
Mrs Lisa W.
TRACING FAMILIES IN BERRYNARBOR
A Letter to the Editor
I came across the Berrynarbor News website through a search of Dummett Berrynarbor on a search engine. Through research into my family tree I have found many of my ancestors lived in Berrynarbor and have found some fascinating information reading through all of the newsletters available online.
Stanley James Dummett, my grandfather, was born in Berrynarbor (1901-1968; and later moved to Barnstaple where the family have stayed) to James Dummett (1867-1918) and Louisa Blanch Dummett (formerly Leworthy; 1880-1957). In various editions of the newsletters I have found information relating to the Dummett family. Through information from the censuses and family knowledge I found 7 of my grandfathers siblings; Charles Henry (1897 1975; married Emily Fisher), John (also known as Jack; 1899 1980; married Annie Lancey), Sidney (1904-1948; married Blanche Bowden - the story about Blanche in Edition No. 127 was very interesting), Gordon (1906-1992; married Doris Leslie; known to have moved to Bristol), Doris Hilda (1908-1978; married Stan Harding), Lionel (1910-1986; married Phyllis Watkins; I found her memoriam in edition No.105, Lionel was referred to as one of the Dummett brothers, so seems they were well known in the area!), and Leonard (1912-1998; married Alice Crompton).
I found the picture of Leonards wedding to Alice in your last edition.In the picture one bridesmaid is named as Doreen Spear (Lens sister) who I had not previously found in my research. This discovery led me to search the entire collection of your newsletters available online for any other information on the Dummett family. I found in issue No. 107 information of another sister Vera Dummett (1917-1959; married Gordon Newton), Doreen was again mentioned, and I read that they lived with their mother Louisa along with their husbands. This story also mentioned that there were 11 children overall (so I still have one unknown Dummett left to find!). James Dummett, the father died in 1918 during the Spanish flu outbreak and in my research I found that Doreen Spear was born Elsie Doreen Dummett in 1921 - obviously a few years after James died!
I should like to know if anyone has any more information/pictures or memories of the Dummett family in Berrynarbor, and also any clarifications on the information I have found: are the siblings names correct; is the information on Elsie Doreen correct and if so was it known that she had a different father; and who is the missing sibling?
I do know that James Dummett was born and raised in Marwood and his father Robert and previous generations came from Braunton, and James and Louisa married in 1896. In issue No. 120 I discovered the brilliant story about Betsy Leworthy (who was Louisas mother) and her donkeys. Betsy Willis (1839-1912) married John Leworthy (1841-1915) in 1860 and they also came from Berrynarbor. There is a mention in your story of the only known child Alfred Richard Leworthy (1866-1953; married Annie), along with Louisa I have also found; John Willis Leworthy (1860-1889; married Mary), William Henry (1864-1947; married Eliza), Thomas (1870-1918; perhaps also died of Spanish flu?), and Clara Jane (1874-1905; married Willie Dennis). I have found that John and his father Thomas were both blacksmiths, Betsys father was William Willis (1801-1864, born in Combe Martin) and mother was Alice Hicks and her previous generations all from Berrynarbor.
I also wonder if there is any other information on the Leworthy family in Berrynarbor.
I should love to hear from anyone who can help clarify the above, and would greatly appreciate any new information.
Mrs Karen Goodwill - Barnstaple
21 YEARS OLD!
To the Editor:
Congratulations on reaching the 21st anniversary of the Newsletter and your Editorship and on the achievement of more than two decades of community news gathering and presentation.
The summer of 1989, when the Newsletter came into being, seems a long time ago and yet paradoxically the intervening years have sped past.
At that point towards the end of the 1980's, the Iron Curtain
was still in place; the Berlin Wall had
yet to come down; the
Throughout all the changes and upheavals that followed that
summer of the first Berrynarbor Newsletter, it has recorded its births, deaths,
comings and goings, weather, issued its recipes, crosswords, poems, drawings,
local history, parish council and church reports, etc. A beacon of continuity in a turbulent
world. Well done!
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
May I please submit the following for the Newsletter?
Whilst sitting in the garden, my thoughts were disturbed by a microphone-assisted voice coming from a Shearings coach, temporarily halted on the other side of the hedge. "We are now entering the silliest village in Devon. Why? Because there are flowerpot people everywhere. Yes, the people of Berrynarbor have gone potty."
How nice, I thought, especially as some of the 'potties', by the look of them, should be in a nursing home.
My thoughts were, 'There's open warfare going on in this village, all competing for titles. Bloomers of Britain, Silliest Village in Devon and there's another dark horse coming up on the rails, Best Displayed Wheelie Bin [village section].
Warfare, take a look at the square. The bloomers are under attack, two wheelies proudly stand, their lids crying 'snap me'. But beware, next door is Father Potty's shop with full mobilization of his army guarding the entrance. A large sign proclaiming 'P Free Toilets' separates these warring parties. Thankfully it brings a bit of sophistication, doesn't it? Very tasty like. The only thing left is for Mickey Mouse to walk the main street every afternoon!
Mr. G - Barton Lane
LETTERS & E-MAILS TO THE EDITOR
From Rita and Dave Duncan, Delph, Nr. Oldham:
Many thanks for continuing to send us the Bertynarbor Newsletter. Dave and I are both well and would like to be remembered to all in Berry who remember us! We so enjoyed our days at the Manor Stores and then our move to Croft Lee. Berrynarbor was such a wonderful place to bring up our three daughters - Angela, Fiona and Rebecca - now all happily married and with families of their own.
Last year we celebrated our Ruby Wedding Anniversary and had a lovely party attended by family and friends.
I still work pan-time at a children's private nursery and David is working at Oldham Magistrates Court. We plan to retire next year when hopefully we'll be able to visit Berrynarbor a bit more often. We send our very best wishes to all.
From Alice Dummett, The Retreat, Sterridge Valley:
A while back I was given a lovely magnolia to piant in memory of my late husband, Leonard. Having already got a large one in the garden, there was no room. I immediately thought of Claude's Garden.
Jilly Sidebottom kindly allowed it to be planted there. The late Bobbie [Richards] and Brenda [Layton] were close fiends of Len's, not forgetting Brian at West Challacombe.
My family from Bolton calls the garden 'Heaven', and when down here year by year spend a lot of time in it.
My thanks to John Huxtable for planting the magnolia for me and I do hope it will give a lot of pleasure, as will the primrose bank in memory of Bob.
From Stanley Barnes, York:
It was good to hear from Stanley again and to send him copies of the latest newsletters. He says:
No. 88 is most interesting to me for the article by Tom Bartlett about Samuel Harding, my grandfather, whom i last saw in 1921, I think. He was then still busy with his blacksmith's trade at the forge and I well remember seeing it at full blast! I was six at the time and now have my 89th birthday on the 8th March. I send you my grateful thanks and wish to congratulate you and all your good contributors for making the Newsletter so fine a publication!
From John Harding, America:
I stumbled upon the publication while trying to find the name of the small cove between Lynton/Lynmouth and Iffracombe. It is a beautiful small cove that I believe is unique in the there is but a single lane track running along the rim, and it is a toll road to boot! I can even recall dropping a pound coin into the steel box at the western end of the road.
But I digress. It was reading of the wedding of my second cousin on October 4th last, which truly caught my eye. Although I have not seen Hannah since she was about 15 or so, I did have the chance to view the wedding pictures when the family sent them over here to the States. Even so, it still seemed a very distant and remote event. Seeing it in print online from so very far away rather cemented the event in reality. As much as I would have dearly loved to have come back to Devon for the wedding, (and reading about it did cause me to wax a little sentimental for the village that I have not really seen in nine years or so) you did provide me the concrete evidence and indeed a world-wide confirmation of the blessed event and for that I thank you profoundly.
My first memories of the village are from the early sixties staying at the cottage; with Cousin Claude and the dairy just up over the road; the shop down past the rows of cottages, and hanging on the road sign near the bus-stop. I can recall putting the new roof on Hillcrest, wandering around the village or going down to llfracombe, idly sitting on the wall of the churchyard and looking out across the valley. I suppose it is middle age that brings the rosy glow but I always seemed to have the best of times in Berry. Even the last time there when we brought my Grandmother home to the churchyard to be buried with her husband. The village was a blaze of colour and clean fresh air that kept everyone in the right frame of mind to celebrate the life of a loving mother and grandmother and not to be absorbed in self pity at the loss. Some places can do that for you. Some places are forever attached to such strong positive memories that they become a touchstone when things are sour and bleak. Berry is that for me, and now it has become that for Hannah and Richard.
I know that places are never static. Geology is slow but geography has a way of changing all too rapidly. I hope that you all enjoy the village as it is now and recall it warmly in the future. Not to complain about the increase in cars, the widening of roads, or the manner in which pastures turn all too quickly into houses, summer visitors and weekend renters, where once were families and generations. But enjoy it while you have it now, and know that you have something that l, and I am sure many others, are jealous of, the last piece of something that is truly English. Perhaps quaint, perhaps a little dowdy, but still a wonder to behold and a warm, beckoning memory that will always be home.
Best regards and with the slightest touch of envy,
From Sally Moldrich from Perth, Western Australia:
My name is Mrs. Sally Moldrich and i was born in New Zealand but now live in Perth, Western Australia. I am travelling to the UK at the end Of April and plan to visit Berrynarbor, where my mother spent most of her life in England.
My mother, Maire, and her mother Mrs. Adelaide Grimaldi moved to Berrynarbor about 1926, into a house they had built for them. They lived there until 1948, when Nan sold the house to a man in the village who had been wanting to buy it - or so she told me. They went on a working holiday to New Zealand, meeting up with a friend who found them work. Her name was Mrs. Queenie Bassett, and I see that is a surname in your village history. I presume Nan and my mother knew her from Berrynarbor.
My Nan died in 1964 and my mother in 1996, so unfortunately I am unable to retrieve any further information.
During my visit to Berrynarbor, I should love to catch up with anyone who remembers my mother [she was between 10 and 32 years old when she lived there] and find the house she lived in. It was a rectangular,onestorey house and I think it was called 'Treetops'.
Can anyone help Sally at all? Lorna Price does remember the family and believes they were related to the Grimaidi family of clown fame.
Joseph Grimaldi [1779-18391, who gave his name 'Joey' to all later clowns. 'Treetops' she feels sure was in Barton Lane, perhaps a previous name of a property? If you can help in any way, please do get in touch with me.
E-MAIL TO THE EDITOR
This is just a short note to thank you for your letter and kind donation to the Tamar Otter Sanctuary, which we received today 14/2/031. I also enjoyed very much your Berrynarbor Newsletter, for which I also extend my thanks.
I am very sorry that we were not able to save poor Sterridge, she was I think just too cold and undernourished having been away from Mum too long in those very cold conditions. However, I'm sure you will agree that it was a blessing and a privilege to have been part of her very short life even though we were not able to pull her through. I would like to thank you for your part in trying to help her, with more people like you and your friends and neighbours helping and caring for our wildlife, animals like the Otter have a much brighter future.
Thanks once again for your kind donation, it is very much appreciated, and also to all those at Berrynarbor who tried so hard to help poor Sterridge. Thank you all.
Mick Sidnell [Head Waren, Tamar Otter Sanctuary]
[I hope readers will not be unhappy that a donation, from the Newsletter, was sent to the Sanctuary. Ed.]
E-MAILS TO THE EDITOR
An e-mail from Anne Phipps told me that she, her older sister Winner and her twin brothers, Gordon and Alex, lived here at Berry View with their parents, Charles and Ellen [or Nellie] Renny in the late 1930's. Following her father's sudden death in October 1938, the family returned to London.
Charles [William] Renny was buried in St. Peter's Churchyard the funeral service conducted by the Rev. Churchill - but the family have been unable to find his grave. Anne asks that if anyone can help locate it or remembers the family, she would love to get in touch with them.
So far, the whereabouts of the grave remain elusive but Ivy Richards remembered the family well, since they rented Berry View from Ivor's parents, and hopefully there will be an opportunity for her to meet with Anne's sister when she visits here at the end of October. However, if anyone else can throw some light on either the family or the grave, please get in touch with the Editor on 883544.
A second e-mail from John Belcher read: "l have recently spent a short holiday at Mill Park. One of my interests is researching names on local war memorials. I saw the memorial in the church and made a note of the names there. Since returning from holiday, I have looked into the names and have attached my notes."
These notes are fascinating and the plan is to put them on display in the Church for anyone interested to read. if anyone has a ny additional information or photographs that could be added to the notes, these would be most welcome. Again, please contact the Editor on 883544.
The names on the Memorial are:
- 1914-18 - Albert Trump, Arthur Snell, Albert Latham, Samuel Trump*, William Huxtable, Sidney W. Toms, Albert J. Snell*, Herbert E. Richards [John Beer of llfracombe, born Berrynarbor]
- 1939-45 - Jane Malcolm, Erik Zapletal, Peter Meadows, Trevor Meadows, Patrick Thirkell, Raymond Brookman
* No Notes
LETTERS AND E-MAILS TO THE EDITOR
Just to say thank you for continuing to send us the Newsletter - it is much appreciated. Also to let you know we have moved to llfracombe, where we're nearer to our daughter, Sarah, her husband and our three grandchildren, whom we see most days, which is lovely. With best wishes to everyone in Berrynarbor,
Jackie and Paul Lethaby
We think you do an excellent job with your band of talented artists and contributors, compiling a very interesting and informative [and at times rather humorous!] booklet, which we look forward to receiving.
Just to say that we keep very well for a couple of 'oldies' getting out and about quite a bit, motoring and walking. Bernard is over 90 and he says he has to slow down so that I [at a mere 78] can keep up with him! Very best wishes to all.
Arline and Bernard Lewis - Martock, Somerset
I'm sure you will remember our family. My name is Caroline Blackman [nee Sullivan], youngest daughter of Lynne and Richard. Every time a newsletter is published, Doreen Prater sends me a copy. Although we left Berrynarbor in December 1982, I still have a great affinity with it and consider it my home. I get great enjoyment from reading and learning about people I have known since an early age. Just to let you know that I have been married to Denzil Blackman for 16 years and we have two children - Victoria and Helen, 15 1/2 and 14 1/2 respectively. Unlike their mother, they are both very well behaved and excel at school and with their music! Victoria plays the 'cello and piano and Helen the violin. Since having them, I have trained as a Learning Disability Nurse and now manage 4 homes and a Day Centre for Adults with Learning Disabilities.
Dad [Richard, an inspirational Headteacher at our Primary School from 1970-1982] is now very happily retired, having taught both Victoria and Helen, and spends much of his time playing the 'cello, either solo or with others. He also spends a lot of time playing duets and trios with Victoria and Helen. Mum [Lynne] has also retired from General Nursing, although she works for me when she is not supporting our two girls. Clare, my sister, lives in Frimley with her husband, Chris, and their 7year-old daughter, Naomi. She works part-time in the field of computers and both our families go away for a holiday together every year.
Please give our love and regards to everyone that we know still living in Berrynarbor.
Thank you all for contacting me and sending your news - it is always nice to hear from ex-residents. It was also good to have a telephone call from Jenny Stuckey, who had recently seen a copy of our Newsletter.
Jenny, who appears in one of the Christmas Party photographs, spent much of her younger days here, at Manor Cott, where she was brought up by her Aunt, Annie Leworthy, until leaving for university in 1982. Jenny, too, has many happy memories of living in Berrynarbor and particular wishes to be remembered to her ex-tennis Partner, Elaine [Fanner], Keith and Margaret Walls, who were then at the Post Office, Ivy White and her daughter, Marlene, and Helen Armstead. And, of course, everyone who remembers her. Hopefully, we shall hear more from Jenny in the future.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Bakau, The Gambia 17.12.99
Although J have made brief visits to Devon, usually en route elsewhere I'm afraid, and consider myself very much a Northerner, and proudly so if you'll forgive me I have, over the last couple of years, been eagerly awaiting news from Berrynarbor. I feel, in a strange way, part of a very thriving village community. I am aware of strangers being welcomed; rites of passage being celebrated; troubled folk being supported and comforted; a huge variety of talents; many interesting events and not least that rare quality of being a close knit community without falling into the trap of insularity. If ever I return to the UK to live, I feel I would be welcomed to live among you. I live in the Gambia, West Africa, and it's because Sue Paul receives the Berrynarbor Newsletter that I know all about you - she passes your excellent publication on to me. I am very happy living here but it is nice to have a regular 'dose of Englishness' !!
With all good wishes to you and Berrynarbor for the coming year.
To all who make the Berrynarbor Newsletter a success. Happy New Year.
Thank you so much for including the story of Captain William Daniel [my great-great-grandfather] in December's issue. I recently had the pleasure of a two week visit to Berrynarbor and enjoyed it very much. I came back to Canada with a lot of family information that I will be including in my book on the Daniel Family. While in Berrynarbor and surrounding areas, I met some truly wonderful people who helped me with my research as well as history Of the area. To them I am very grateful and will remember them always. I hope to someday be able to visit Berrynarbor again. Thank you.
Lynda Porter [nee Daniel] - Brampton, Canada
FROM 'LETTERS TO THE EDITOR'
I find the Newsletter very interesting and Hedley Nicholls [see Childhood Memories, August 1999] learned his trade with my father, Thomas Ley. Hedley sadly lost a finger working the saw in our sawmill that was fixed at the back of Orchard House. This happened in August 1931 and my father died about two weeks after, I am sorry to say.
Vera Lewis - Epsom, Surrey[Ley]
You have kindly kept me supplied with the Berry Newsletter, which I enjoy and now have quite a collection!
Just to remind you, I lived in Berry with my mother and family, while my father served in World War One, until 1919. I still visit occasionally with my cousin, Dorothy Grinnall who now has 55, Hillcrest.
Mother was born in 1882 [Ellen Harding], so you can imagine the interest I found in reading what Beatrix Potter wrote in 1882. It struck me that the Berry ambience hasn't changed much over the years! For me, at least, your inclusion ofthat piece of history, was a delight. Many thanks and good wishes.
Stanley Barnes - York
It was lovely to see Tony Beauclerk and his wife, Betty, [down from Colchester, Essex] when they called for a coffee and a chat. I was also visited by a David White of Pembroke, who was following up his ancestors who lived here in the 1600's! Their name was Farrier. I don't know if anyone has information going back this far? took a copy of the Newsletter and was going to enlarge on his quest and what he found so far, but sadly I have not heard anything further - perhaps he'll pick this message up on the Internet!
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
We should like to thank everyone for the donations towards providing two nebulisers -- one for Sophia and one for the village. We raised the sum of £202 in the village, and the Pack of Cards did a sponsored walk [in which my nephew and I took part] and donated the money for another nebuliser. One machine was kindly donated and so the money raised in the village has already been given to the school for books, etc. The donated nebuliser is now available for use and should you need to use it, the contact names will be displayed in the Post Office but they are: Nicola Cornish, Breezes, Barton Lane [8834831 and Ann Pennington, Duckypool, Pitt Hill . The money raised by the Pack of Cards has paid for Sophia's nebuliser. Thank you again for all your help and support.
As some of you know, Simon and I were married on the 14th November. We had a beautiful service at St. Peter's and thank you, Keith and Reg. The day was perfect in every way. I should like to thank all friends who helped to organise our 'Special Day' - Mom [Ann Pennington] for putting up with us for the last six years and always being there, day and night, and everything she did to make our day extra special; Karen Hookway [sister] for being my Matron of Honour and a very good friend; Laura Hookway, my little sister and Mary-Jane for making our cake, a wonderful job she did too! It was great to see everyone at our evening reception - thank you all for coming.
Thank you, too, for helping with the packing. The speed that everything was packed made me wonder at one point if you were keen to get rid of us! Simon, Sophia and I have settled into our new home and look forward to reading the Newsletter on the Internet and finding out what you are all up to. See you when we come down to visit Mom.
Jacqueline [nee Stavrinou]
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
I was disappointed to see the result of the Parish Poll. Thanks to a few people back in the 1930's, Berrynarbor acquired a property for the village, which has been a focal point for the Parish ever since, first managed by the Parish Council and later entrusted to a Management Committee.
Having served on both these bodies for a considerable number of years, I do not think many parishioners realise how much effort and time is involved in running and raising monies for the up-keep of the property - it is mainly left to a few stalwarts who have been involved over a great many years.
This was a golden opportunity to spread the cost over the whole Parish on a one-off basis, but I'm afraid this opportunity could now be lost.
The plans submitted were a bit 'grand', but I feel sure they could have been 'pruned' once we had got the backing to secure the grant. On the other hand, the Committee's forward thinking, such as the possible re-roofing and structural remedies, must be commended. Perhaps more information and explanation could have been given.
Bob Richards -
Seascape, Barton Lane
22nd January 1998
LETTER FROM THE RECTOR
I should like to thank everyone who helped in any way to make the Summer Fayre such a success. I was very impressed by the way members of the village rallied round and helped to run the stalls. We had so many visitors and the atmosphere was so good, that it really was a night to remember. Thank you all, very much indeed.
On a note of Thanksgiving, don't forget the Harvest Festival and the Harvest Supper. I am looking forward to seeing you there. One last thought from
W.J. Cameron: "A thankful heart has a continual feast".
With all good wishes,
Your Friend and Rector
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Last issue's selection of items 'From Middle Age obviously caused some amusement and it was nice to receive a letter from Molly Lawson of Haywards Heath - one of our far flung readers. Molly writes:
I am sure you will have heard that Miss Tullett passed away last October, and so after 30 years, our holidays at Whitley Cottage have ended, which for us is very sad, it had become our second home. We love Berrynarbor and have made many friends there over the years. We hope to pay the occasional visit, though it won't be the same without that dear little cottage we know so well.
We enjoyed the items on 'growing old', they rang a bell!! The following is on the same theme.
How to Know You're Growing Older
The gleam in your eyes is from the sun hitting your bifocals.
You feel like the morning after and you haven't been anywhere.
Your little black book contains only names ending with M.D.
Your children begin to look middle-aged.
You finally reach the top of the ladder and find it leaning against the wrong wall.
Your mind makes contracts your body can't meet.
A dripping tap causes uncontrollable bladder urge.
You look forward to a dull evening.
Your favourite part of the newspaper is '20 years ago today'.
You tum out the lights for economy rather than romantic reasons.
You sit in a rocking chair and can't get it going.
Your knees buckle and your belt won't.
You regret all those mistakes you made resisting temptation.
You're 17 around the neck, 42 around the waist and 96 round the golf course.
Your back goes out more than you do.
A fortune teller offers to read your face.
Your pacemaker makes the garage door go up when you see a pretty girl.
The little old grey-haired lady you help across the street is your wife.
You sink your teeth into a steak and they stay there.
You have too much room in the house and not enough in the medicine
You get your exercise acting as a pallbearer for your friends who exercise.
You know all the answers but nobody asks you the questions!
Molly Lawson - Haywards Heath
BRAUNTON BURROWS LETTER TO THE EDITOR
I was astonished and appalled to read in the North Devon Journal this week [12th September] that Braunton Burrows has lost its thirty year status as a national nature reserve! As the future of the Burrows and its wildlife are in jeopardy, I wondered whether any publicity could be given to the dilemma.
As from last Thursday, the programme of conservation management ceased an abrupt and total withdrawal. It seems so drastic. It is this work which has been keeping the scrub and grass in check and allowed the 400 plus different species of flowering plants - some of them rare - to flourish.
When I've heard, so often, of people losing some precious local piece of open space, interesting and important to them but not of national significance, I've felt very sorry for them, but relieved that we had our wonderful burrows and marsh and moors.
I've realised that designating an area a 'site of special scientific importance' does not necessarily make it immune from development unfortunately, but because the Burrows has such a rich flora and fauna, has an international reputation and is recognised by UNESCO, I naively thought it was sacrosanct.
If, like the writer, you feel strongly about the loss of this nature reserve, please write to English Nature [Chairman Lord Cranbrook] or add your voice of protest to that of our local M.P., Nick Harvey.
Dear Mrs. Weedon,
Thank you so very much for your kind and generous donation from the print sale of the Berrynarbor Newsletter covers. The North Devon Branch R.S.P.C.A. were very involved with the "Sea Empress" oiled birds saga, the casualties brought from Lundy were transported in our Branch Animal Ambulance to West Hatch, having been initially treated at Winslade Wildlife Sanctuary or Mortehoe. We also collected some birds from the Hartland area.
The whole episode cost the Branch £350, none of which we shall get back, other than by donations such as yours. The Body Shop Appeal raised £115, but that went to Headquarters in Horsham.
The Animal Ambulance is in constant use at the moment collecting injured birds and wildlife, there seems to be so much carnage on our roads, but at least the general public care enough to ring our R.H.Q. number and we can do something about it.
I loved your newsletters, so friendly and personal, but most professional as well - a Branch newsletter like that would be a great asset.
Please thank everyone for thinking of us.
Mrs. Jane McPhee, Hon. Sec. North Devon Branch
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
I was interested to read in the Newsletter No. 40 February 1996, the report of the presentation to Mr. Clift on his leaving as head teacher at the National School.
My mother, Ellen Barnes [nee Harding] was one of his pupils, aged 14 at that time. She also left school and went on to Landkey where she served as a pupil teacher and lodged in the village. I believe she continued there until she was 18 years old.
Mr. Clift went to Oaklands Park, near Weybridge in Surrey, where he took over as Headteacher at the Church of England School. My mother later moved to Oaklands Park and joined the staff in Mr. Cliffs school. She continued her studies, including attending courses in London, so that she qualified as a Certificated Teacher. She taught at the school until she married, when at that time married women teachers had to leave.
My elder brother attended the school and was taught by Mr. Clift until about 1921, the year in which I think Mr. Clift retired and went to live in Combe Martin. I don't know the name of the place where he lived but it was one of the houses in a row on the left of the road as you near the top of the hill coming out of Combe Martin towards Sandy Cove.
I also went to school in Oaklands Park but when I joined the Juniors from the Infants in 1922, Mr. Clift had just left.
A few years later my parents and the family went to Berrynarbor on holiday, to stay at 55 The Village, and we called to visit Mr. Clift - I well remember his garden and his bee hives!
Stanley Barnes, York
Information has filtered through on two other queries raised in previous Newsletters:
The lady in the hat attending the funeral of Captain Bassett [June 1995 issue] is believed to be Mrs. Penn-Curzon. Captain Bassett was her brother, and he was killed in a riding accident when he was thrown from his horse.
The picture thought to be of Bowden Farm [October 1995 issue] is, we are told, just that, drawn from the Cockhill area with a lot of artist's licence! But who was the artist?
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
The covers of the Newsletters give me great pleasure - if only I was so talented! Has Debbie thought about illustrating the stoat? We have one regularly visiting our garden.
We also have 2 badgers who come for their supper on our patio every evening; 2 mallard ducks return every spring; 2 rooks live in the beech tree; 2 squirrels regularly raid the bird table and 2 pheasants parade around the lawns.
It's a little like the Ark - the animals come in 2 by 2, but we love it! The hedgehogs and rabbits algo visit us and we've even had a fox.
The birds are prolific and include all the tits, finches, wrens, sparrows, robins, rooks, crows, jackdaws, magpies, jays, herons, seagulls, tree creepers, nuthatches, green and red spotted woodpeckers, owls and buzzards.
I think we must be living in a wild life park! Maybe it will give Debbie some ideas for her illustrations.
Vida Butler - Mandalay
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
This item is not pressing but if you have a little space to spare, I'd be pleased if you could fit it in. I like the Berrynarbor Newsletter [Berryite?] very much ... having brought out the first and second editions of the Shammickite a number of years ago, and I think your newsletter is most interesting as I know a number of Berryites.
Information Centre, Combe Martin
Thank you, Peter, for your kind words. How about it? Should we give our Newsletter a name? Any suggestions should be put in the Collecting Boxes.